Paul Palladino
Wednesday February 25th, 2015

Ready to show your friends you know more about the NBA than they do? FanNation's Basketball Throwdown fantasy basketball game is your best option. You pick a guard, forward and center who you think will exceed their fantasy projections. The scoring system takes into account points, rebounds, assists, blocks, steals and turnovers. The team that out-performs its projections by the largest amount wins, so picking a lineup of Stephen Curry, LeBron James and Joakim Noah is no sure-fire path to victory. You can also bet anywhere from $1 to $500 on each night's matchup or play for free.

I'll give you my picks each day and a recap of yesterday's top performers so you can get bragging rights over your friends.

Sign up for tonight's Basketball Throwdown here.

Tuesday's overachievers

Guard: Reggie Jackson, Pistons, +19.1

In his second game in a Pistons uniform, Jackson flirted with a triple-double and nearly led his team to a win over the Cavaliers. He made seven of his 15 shots en route to 22 points, nine assists, eight rebounds and a block. Jackson showed he was a capable starter during his time with the Thunder, and he has continued to put up good stats since joining the Pistons. With the Pistons 1.5 games behind the Nets for the No. 8 seed, Jackson will need to grow into a leadership role for Detroit to make the playoffs.

Forward: Paul Pierce, Wizards, +13.5

Pierce turned back the clock to his best days with the Celtics in Tuesday's loss to the Warriors. While taking just 11 shots, he finished with 25 points, five rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block. The Wizards have been struggling with Bradley Beal out of the lineup and will need Pierce to play a larger role on offense. While his best days are well behind him, Pierce's block against Harrison Barnes showed that he still has something left in the tank.

Center: Marcin Gortat, Wizards, +6.7

Gortat was very efficient and recorded double-double against the Warriors. He piled up 16 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and a block while making eight of his 11 shots. The Wizards have lost nine of their last 11 games and have fallen to the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference. If Derrick Rose misses a significant amount of time with his latest knee injury, the Wizards should be able to overtake the Bulls in the standings, provided they snap out of their recent funk.

Today's picks

Guard: James Harden, Rockets vs. Clippers, 8 p.m. ET

Harden is a frontrunner for the MVP award and is coming off a 31-point, 11-rebound, 10-assist, four-block performance against the Timberwolves on Monday. He is averaging career highs across the board with 27.3 points, 6.8 assists and 5.8 rebounds this season. With Dwight Howard out of the lineup with a knee injury, Harden is the focal point for nearly all of Houston's offense. Facing a team that doesn't have any standout perimeter defenders, Harden should feast against the Clippers on Wednesday.

Forward: Ersan Ilyasova, Bucks vs. 76ers, 8 p.m. ET

Ilyasova has battled injuries this season, and his statistics are down significantly from the last few seasons. He is averaging 8.8 points, 3.7 rebounds and 18.0 minutes in 32 games this season. He was moved into the starting lineup for Monday's game against the Bulls and responded with 15 points, 11 rebounds, two assists, one steal and a block. Because of his injury-plagued season, he is projected for just 17 points on Wednesday.

Center: DeAndre Jordan, Clippers at Rockets, 8 p.m. ET

Jordan has beaten his projection in five straight games, and his streak should continue in Wednesday's game against the Rockets. In his last five games, he is averaging 18.4 points, 19.4 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 1.8 steals as the Clippers have won four of five. With Blake Griffin out of the lineup, Jordan has taken on a bigger role in the Clippers' offense. He will also benefit from Dwight Howard not playing for the Rockets tonight.

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